Specialized Features Created for Pharmacy Staff Scheduling

October 12, 2022

Creating and managing a pharmacy staff schedule can be tricky with several factors to contend with daily. Staff scheduling takes time.  Many pharmacies are experiencing staffing challenges due to a shortage in qualified staff.  The need for quality healthcare in pharmacies will continue to increase which makes having a seamless scheduling process even more important to optimize existing staff. continues. Scheduling can quickly become an arduous task without the proper tools to help you simplify and optimize your current processes.

Whether you are scheduling shifts for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, full-time or float staff, Schedule360 can make your scheduling process much more efficient. Our pharmacy scheduling software solution is designed to streamline and automate the staff scheduling process for pharmacies.

As an industry leader in pharmacy scheduling software, we serve some of the largest retail pharmacy chains in the United States. With over a decade of chain pharmacy staff scheduling experience, we understand the challenges you’re facing and we’ve developed an innovative, scalable solution to help you manage your shifts.

Every pharmacy has a different scheduling process, and our staff scheduling software is configurable with an extensive catalog of features you can enable or disable based on your scheduling and reporting needs.

Pharmacy staff person looking over the staff schedule on a tablet

Time Off Coverage Requests

Creating and managing staff schedules often feels like two separate tasks as both involve balancing time-off requests, shift preferences, and adequate coverage with qualified employees. Future schedules are released for planning and convenience, but changes in live schedules will always occur, so having an efficient way to manage these last-minute requests is essential.

When an hourly employee doesn’t have vacation time to use but they request additional time off for a scheduling period that has already been published, pharmacies can now implement a standard process for handling this type of request without pushing the responsibility of shift coverage back onto admins.

The struggle with time-off requests for live schedules isn’t coming from admins but rather the time and effort needed to cover the shift. Schedule360 has developed a solution to this problem by creating a time off coverage requests feature. Users can submit requests for time off and an admin can approve it contingent on the staff member finding their own suitable replacement for the shift. Guidelines for filling the shift can be set by management, so you can ensure the swap meets credentials and OT threshold limits.

Modify Shift Timing on Live Schedules

Recently we had a customer request to update master schedules more efficiently in pharmacies. Specifically, the client wanted to be able to release schedules further in advance, with a more straightforward way to manage shift modifications for current live schedules. Previously, any changes made to set schedules would automatically be applied to future-released schedules, but not to the weeks that were already released. This was a problem because some locations release set schedules far into the future, like 10-12 weeks out. Each time a shift change was made to the set schedule, an admin had to manually find all occurrences of that shift change in the live schedules and apply the changes one at a time, making catching up on live schedules incredibly time consuming.

This new feature streamlines the process, saving pharmacies a significant amount of time. This feature makes it much easier to locate and modify shifts in the live schedule to reflect the respective changes as needed.

Large Scale Call-Offs

Our unique large-scale call-off feature is incredibly useful for pharmacy chains with multiple locations across several regions. When one of our clients expressed a need for an automated way to handle daily call-offs, we got to work creating a feature that could handle this cumbersome task.

We knew it needed to be user friendly, easy to implement, and a time saving tool. This client was at a point where they were getting hundreds of call-offs every day across 5000+ locations. The amount of manpower needed to manually handle these call-offs was impossible to obtain. Instead, Schedule360 utilized the power of technology to develop a solution.

This feature provides employees with a quick and easy way to enter a “call-off” online and it displays as pending until the scheduler can review and process the call-off.

While a scheduling is processing the call-off, they have the option to:

  • Reopen the shift
  • Make it HOT
  • Dispatch the open shift immediately
  • Do nothing and leave the shift unfilled depending on the need

The scheduler can approve and mark the staff member off, and by approving the dropped shift, the system automatically removes them from the schedule for that shift. Schedulers can then determine the urgency of the open shift and process it accordingly. This convenient feature eliminates the need for a dedicated employee to manually answer the phone, freeing up those resources to be reallocated elsewhere.

When Schedule360 released this highly anticipated, automatic feature, it provided immediate relief to many of our clients. This call-off feature allows up to 7 days ahead to call off, but you can set the time period to whatever you want. Many clients set the call-off window to 48 hours ahead.

This convenient feature eliminates the need for a dedicated employee to answer phones so they can reallocate those resources elsewhere.

Enhanced Messaging Capabilities

Schedule360 understands the importance of being able to quickly communicate scheduling needs to employees which is why our software already comes equipped with an integrated messaging tool. However, as we continue to meet the needs of our clients, we’re also searching for ways to improve our scheduling software. One of those improvements is providing our clients with enhanced messaging capabilities.

This feature allows admins to message only those staff on the schedule at various levels of their site structure. They can dispatch a message to only those scheduled to work that day or send a message to everyone on the list. They can also choose how they wish to contact staff by selecting a message board, email, cell, or secondary email.

This feature eliminates over messaging by allowing admins to effectively communicate with only relevant staff.

Employee Scheduling Software Feature: Reminders

Schedule360’s goal is to meet the needs of our clients. We value customer feedback and continuously create and improve our features to better suit the needs of our clients. One such improvement was creating a shift reminder messaging feature.

You can send shift reminder messages through our pharmacy scheduling software. Employees can automatically set up shift reminders by email, text, or both that dispatch the day before their scheduled shift. The reminder can also be sent to the main message board to be reviewed.

Schedule360 Never Stops Working for You

Schedule360 strives to ensure that our pharmacy scheduling software solution is robust and flexible while also remaining easy to use. We work continuously to make improvements and roll out new features to our software based on the needs of our clients. For more information about how our pharmacy scheduling software can streamline your scheduling process and create better shift coverage and daily efficiency, contact Schedule360 for a configured demo today.